Sunday, September 2, 2012

Clint Eastwood: His Best Performance Yet?

We have had our fun with the improvisation on stage that was strangely out of place. In general, we felt badly for Mr. Eastwood, an icon of strength and movie machismo that was appealing to young boys and made young girls swoon.

His early roles represented the ideal straight man; He rarely smiled, never said more than needed to be said, and was always on the right side of things. He was tough as nails and we liked him that way.

In "Million Dollar Baby" he showcased the strengths of his previous characters with the added dimensions of having been tempered by age and experience. There was an underlying kindness and concern in that character not seen in the characters of his youth.  In this film we see the man struggle with hard-set beliefs adapting to the reality of the situation.

He struggles with the knowledge of the damage that boxers endure, and yes, this is a tough girl but, a girl, nonetheless. He is forced to face reality as he understands there is nothing else for this girl. This is it.

A parent's worst nightmare: He can't save her, he can only teach her how to keep safe and let go.

Films like Million Dollar Baby and Grand Torino are meant to be savored more than once. These films are not made for entertainment purposes in which a mindless two-hours can be killed. These performances, the dialogues, and depth of the characters stay with us long after the film is over.

Grand Torino
The last scene was an impressive directorial achievement. We saw the endless possibilities of an uncharted future as a young man drove away from the confines of his environment --- In a vehicle that represents the hard work and tribulations of previous generations.

The imagery is powerful in this film.

So what was that performance at the RNC? Why did we feel so uncomfortable watching it? and why was everyone so confused?

Everyone who had anything to do with Clint Eastwood being on stage has adamantly denied any involvement with the performance or having any knowledge beforehand of what was about to develop. So what happened?

The short answer may be that just like in the Super-Bowl ad, Clint Eastwood went rogue.

In the Super-Bowl ad Clint Eastwood praised the recovery of the auto industry in Detroit - The republicans called it a political ad in favor of President Obama. He was maligned for being a RINO, and there was much disappointment in those quarters for the perceived political intent. It was akin to Charlton Heston coming out in favor of sensible gun control.

It is just not done.

The fact is that Clint Eastwood did not ask permission or counsel on doing the ad. It was a personal thing for him. It depicted the willingness of all sides to make the country healthy and whole. Yes, it was half-time in America and we had to make a choice between doing the right things for the country, or continuing to deteriorate beyond recovery

On his show, this past Friday, Bill Maher had high praise for what it takes to get on stage and do improv with an empty chair. Mr. Maher is having a good time this week on Twitter making fun of the event even if he is impressed by the 80 year-old's performance. Calling him a string of insults prior to praising him may be, in retrospect, unwarranted.

What did you see on that stage when Clint Eastwood was talking to an empty chair? Did you see an old white man who had lost his mind and forgot to comb his hair?


Did  you see an accurate representation of what makes up the base of the current incarnation of the Republican party?

What did you hear?

Did you hear the ramblings of an actor who forgot his lines?


Did you hear a dye-in-the-wool Republican reproaching the leadership of a party who has destroyed all he, and those like him, helped to build? - Did they wreck his carefully maintained Grand Torino?

Oh! and the hair?  This lady on the video below comes to mind.

Perhaps it is worth to watch the performance again through a fresh pair of eyes and pay close attention to what he is saying, how he is saying it, and most importantly, what is missing. Do you hear praise for either party? or a condemnation of what our political parties have become?

Million Dollar Baby and Grand Torino were unpleasant and uncomfortable films to watch because they did not allow us to escape into a magical out-of-space adventure, but kept us firmly grounded into the messy reality of our lives. Not unlike Clint Eastwood's performance on stage at the Republican National Convention.

All those performances are worth watching more than once.


I gave Clint Eastwood such a wide berth didn't I? - From the liberal side it sure looked like a representation of the GOP "Base"  - Now, he gives an interview and says, "President Obama is the biggest hoax perpetrated on the American people..."

If he had just kept his mouth shut, we would have continued to think that the incoherent ramblings on stage were a stroke of creative genius not many understood. Now? he looks like an old fool that would have done best sitting on the audience and clapping and booing on cue with the rest of the haters.

Author's note: I would like to thank Thurman Williams for a stimulating conversation that made this article a reality.

NY Magazine: Eastwood's Manager: Chrysler Ad 'Not a Political Thing'
Image(s) credit: Clint Eastwood: The New Yorker by Lauren Lancaster

Friday, August 31, 2012

Clint Eastwood's Chair has an Older Sibling

I had to take my kid to her former school to do volunteer work and on the way over, right on my neighborhood, something that was not there yesterday. I had to take the camera and share with you all.

I have no idea if this was on the plans prior to last night's bizarre experience at the RNC with Clint Eastwood, but the timing evoked a chuckle. Enjoy!

In front of the evangelical church >>>>>
Designed for a giant and hard to miss.

The Republican Convention: Another Nail on the GOP Coffin?

Yes, they built it! 
The Republican National Convention (RNC) is finally over. After watching as much of it as it was humanly possible without bursting a blood vessel, we have reached the conclusion that the Republican party no longer exists.

Some of us expressed our embarrassment for our country and its people and hoped the rest of the world was not watching. (Me included)

Nice fantasy. This was a train wreck worth watching regardless of the need to grit our teeth and remembering to breathe.

The GOP has, blatantly, become the party of cheaters. They changed the rules on the spot to disfranchise a segment of their own party that very vocally demanded to be heard on the floor. No such luck.

Ron Paul supporters thrown under the bus

Perhaps a lesson learned is that if this party can manipulate the voting laws in all states, they can easily devour their own without giving it a second thought.

The RNC convention was a parade of hopeful republican governors touting their own horn and mentioning Mitt Romney in passing.

Each political official that took the podium made it abundantly clear that they were there to promote themselves into a better position in 2016. The RNC was a mixture of bizarre rhetoric and self-importance.

Blaming President Obama for the ineptitude of a destructive Congress and the failure of the previous administration was the theme of the night. The speakers threw as much red meat and as many lies as possible to a base that seemed jaded and bored most of the time.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio 
Appealing to the Hispanic community was not a subtle event. Latino-descent governors paraded on the stage touting the grandiosity of a republican party that no longer exists.

Everyone of these governors recounted their humble beginnings - which are yet to be fact-checked for some and totally debunked for others  - and their experiences in leadership positions within the party and their own states. Unfortunately, they were the only Hispanics on attendance.

The audience cheered and applauded on cue when the Hispanics on parade praised the Republican party, or humbly stated their gratitude to a country that gave them great opportunities to succeed.  Overall, with very few exceptions, the enthusiasm was sorely lacking.

Mitt Romney did his best to connect with a Hispanic audience by hoping that those watching at home would identify with his Mexican-born father.

Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, no one is voting for his Mexican-born father.

The former governor also threw a morsel to the birthers. Perhaps it was a small offering to keep them from staying home on election day, but he would have fared better had he kept that doggy treat in his pocket instead.

As soon as it left his lips, the comment was plastered all over social media. "When the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American." - all that was missing here was the wink - This comment landed hard on those jaded on the stupidity of birtherism. Their disgust was expressed quite openly on Twitter and Facebook.

The GOP has no cause to wonder the reason they have 0 percent (0%) of the African-American vote, or, why the 'white base' is increasingly more democratic and embarrassed by a GOP association. Those who used to be proud Republicans no longer recognize this party as their own.

Mr. Romney also tried to connect with another segment of the population that is unlikely to vote for him: Women. Women of all ethnic backgrounds have been raked through the coals by the Republican Party over the past few years and, women, have very long memories.

Endorsing laws that disfranchise voters by virtue of their surname, ethnicity, and perceived political inclinations, has blown up in the faces of the GOP. These people are not likely voters for a party that represents oppression and control of personal freedoms, choices, and liberties.

There is no coming back from this. This party needs a major overhaul if it is ever to have any credibility as a viable option in a two-party system. Let alone in a system that would have more than two parties vying for attention and importance.

For a while we cringed as the minorities were both pandered and maligned with words of "opportunity" and "Welfare" - Social media exploded when the rapid-fire series of lies about President Obama and his policies begun.

The current GOP has not only offended the 'inconsequential' minorities but mortified the white population by attempting to appeal to racism, bigotry, and a hatred they do not possess. Some felt the need to state on social media: "They don't represent me." and "I am not like that." or, "I have nothing in common with these people."

They don't need to apologize or differentiate themselves from the fear-war-mongers. Actions have always spoken louder than words and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, skin color, or religious beliefs are irrelevant to most people.

Muslim Symbol of Peace
Which brings us to the next segment, Mitt Romney persisted on instituting "Freedom of Religion" if he becomes president. The audience was not sure how to respond to that at times. They seemed torn trying to assimilate what that meant. Do they not have that now? Was Mitt Romney saying Mormonism has been maligned by the Evangelical audience? Was he addressing members of his church?

What about Muslims? will Mitt Romney protect them too? - From the way he was talking about going to war with the rest of the (Muslim) world, it did not seem that way.

There was a time - Sarah Palin's time - when throwing red meat to the audience was energizing to a base that horrified the vast majority of the country.  The audience last night did not seem to be responding well to what has become a smelly, odious, and rotten piece of meat. At times, it seemed the responses were forced and the audience had to be coached into having a reaction or paying attention.

Every good fisherman knows that they need to change the bait in order to attract the catch and appeal to a different variety.

Clint Eastwood talking to a chair
Clint Eastwood overshadowed Mitt Romney's speech. It was not a helpful stint for the hopeful presidential candidate's biggest introduction to the rest of the country.

On the bright side, the conversation about invisible President Obama is likely preferable to Mitt Romney's invisible tax returns

While there were some hopeful rising stars in the form of Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Ted Cruz, solicitor general of Texas, the overall feeling about the convention can be summarized as a failure of epic proportions. This convention was a public disintegration of a party that has lost its center and is hovering near the cliff of doom.

The contrast between the RNC convention and the DNC's next week will be sharp. The presidential debates will likely push the Republican candidate to the jagged edges of the cliff. If voters prevail, a new Congress of "Can Do" individuals will finalized the GOP demise as a political giant.

This coming November I will proudly cast my vote for President Obama again. I hope you'll join me.

Until next week - PEACE to all.

Fox News Latino: Opinion: Marco Rubio Speech Proves He Does Not Speak For Latinos
Politico: 0 percent of blacks for Mitt Romney
MSNBC Media: Poll results and questions asked.
TPM: Ron Paul Revolt Blows Up GOP's Unified Convention
The Huffington Post: CNN Camerawoman: Peanut Throwing Incident at Republican Convention 'A Wake Up Call
MSNBC - The Ed Show: Voter ID laws could disenfranchise 758,000 in Pennsylvania
YouTube: Two Former Republicans Tell Why They No Longer Support The Party
Republicans For Obama
The Palm Beach Post: GOP heaped praise on women, but will it win women's vote?

Photo Credits: MSNBC, ABC News,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

President Obama Strengthened Medicare

About 6 yrs ago, my husband was diagnosed with sleep Apnea and needed a CPAP machine to help him breathe through the night. The people in charge of providing him with the equipment charged Medicare over $1,600 and us almost $200 a month. This is a rental for 13 months, after this period of time, the patient owns it.

Do the math: 200X13 = $2,600 + $1,600 = $4,200

The mask did not fit right and the machine was as loud as a revving engine.  Needless to say that no matter how hard he tried to sleep with a mask that resembled those worn by a fighter jet pilot, he just could not manage to do so.

The mask was not designed to move with the patient, and unless he slept on his back the entire night without moving, the stupid thing would slide and the hose would get tangled around his neck and shoulders.

After a few days of not sleeping (neither him, nor me), he complained about it and requested a mask that would allow him to sleep.

We were in for a fight.

The medical supplier's attitude was: "Get used to it and sleep on your back. It costs us money to give you a different mask."

After explaining to deaf ears that it is impossible for him to sleep on his back due to a failed Laminectomy (or stay in a position for very long), and that the metal rods and screws permanently embedded in his spine make this impossible, he ended returning the machine in less than a month.

Medicare was charged for at least two months of use and we were charged for one. Money down the drain for everyone involved except the supplier.


CPAP Machine - Sleep Apnea
The day before yesterday, his primary care physician (PCP) went over his chart and asked about his use of the CPAP because of the other issues he is having, namely he thought, related to sleep and fatigue.

Dr. S., noted that recent studies show a correlation between people with sleep Apnea and the development of different forms of cancer. It was enough to make us pay attention, but there was more to it than that.

"The brain," as Dr. S. explained,  "spends the night fighting for oxygen and unable to relax, even if you think you are sleeping, you really aren't." - "This," he continued, "Also creates other health issues that are harmful to your heart and other internal organs."

Dr. S. requested that we contact the sleep study facility and have them send the results and numbers to his office and he would get back to us in a few weeks.

We did as requested and the Sleep Study clinic faxed the documentation immediately. Late that afternoon we got an urgent call from a supplier of medical equipment to come in right away. Dr. S., had set up the appointment for the next afternoon. There was no quibbling over it, it was expected that we show up. Period.

Sleep Apnea
I know Dr. S., and if he got on the ball this quickly, it means that the numbers and results were alarming enough for him to move everything at the speed of light.

My husband got a CPAP machine today. It is A) quiet - as in you don't hear anything. Perfect for the spouse that does not need one.

B) they fitted him with the right mask and told him he had six months to try all the others if that one was not suitable. *WOW*

C) We signed the bill.

Here is the kicker: There was no COPAY to the patient and they charged Medicare half the price of what the previous company had charged years ago for an inferior machine and a Darth Vader mask that only fits right in the movies.

This is first hand knowledge on how President Obama has cut wasteful spending from Medicare by reversing the evils of the past presidency.

Mitt Romney Lies
Mitt Romney is lying about the funds cut off from Medicare. Romney is not stating the context of the so-called "Medicare cuts" because facts and context are detrimental to his goals. What has been slashed from Medicare is wasteful spending.

Medicare is providing better coverage to the elderly and disabled than it has in the past. The donut hole is smaller now and will be permanently closed in 2020. The damned donut hole costs thousands of dollars every year per patient and seniors and disabled patients have seen significant savings thus far.

Medications cost less too and we can feel that in our checking account, which just like my husband, will be breathing a little better moving forward.


For those who don't know... MEDICARE ADVANTAGE is a PRIVATE insurance company and it cuts into the benefits that Medicare pays and double and triple charges for medical services Medicare can pay by itself at a fraction of the cost. YOU DON'T NEED TO SIGN UP FOR IT. It is a rip off. Furthermore, essential services a patient might need are NOT covered. You can thank President George W. Bush for this wasteful privatization attempt of Medicare known as Medicare Advantage.

I know we are not the only people out there who have seen a reduction in medical costs in the form of copayments and medications and that means a lot to people struggling to survive/live on a tight fixed income.


Health care cost rise
Many of us are in our 40's and 50's and are too young to have Medicare, but after having experienced both systems, I can't wait until I do.

We spent years paying for all health related expenses out of our savings due to the "pre-existing" condition. Thanks to President Obama, the insurance companies can no longer deny anyone from a pre-existing condition and this is something that everyone needs to know.

When someone lives with chronic pain, their ability to fight for their rights is severely diminished.  Since my husband got coverage through Medicare, I have not had to fight for his medical care with a $10 hr. employee hell-bent in saving the private insurance money and them getting a bonus through denying care (I had a neighbor who did this for a living. One of the most miserably unhappy people I have ever met.)

We all pay into the system through years of contributions. The coverage is far superior to private insurance and worth a mention, but can't stress loudly enough how much better than the coverage is not having to fight for the right medication or treatment options. Having no stress in this area is priceless when you are juggling a thousand other things and keeping your life as normal as possible when dealing with disabling conditions.

Case in point: When the surgeon who wanted to operate on my husband turned out to be a quack, we sought a second opinion out of state and had the surgery done safely with real professionals at Stanford Medical. Try doing that with a private insurance company.

We did not have to jump through hoops. We only had to figure out the price of a hotel, time frame, and cost of gas.

Everyone in this country should have that peace of mind. It is a human right that no one should be denied.

Nationalized Health Care works in every industrialized country and has shown to work here just as well in the form of Medicare for the elderly and disabled of any age. The military and government officials have socialized medical coverage. Only the Middle Class is excluded from having the same rights while they are the ones paying for it all.

The Mitt Romney's of this world want to privatize Medicare and Social Security because there are billions of dollars screaming to go to offshore accounts. They don't want us to know what it feels like to have Medicare, because in the words of Mitch McConnell: "We can't give this to the people, they would like it."

Damn right we would!


U.S. Dept. Of Health and Human Services: What is Sleep Apnea?
The Washington Post: The Medicare Advantage Scam by Ezra Kline

Image Credit: By Habib M'henni + User:DMY [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Mitt/Pinocchio credit to PlanetPoV

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cosmopolitan: Helen Gurley Brown's Legacy

Helen Gurley Brown - 1964
1922 - 2012
Helen Gurley Brown, world-renowned editor for Cosmpolitan Magazine, passed away at the age of  90.

Ms. Brown was a pioneer in a field dominated by men and became a success by not following the standard tried-and-true formulas of magazines geared towards women.  While it is hard to dispute that the magazine is a lot of fluff and advertisement now, and has been for years, it is indisputable that Helen Gurley Brown tackled "taboo" subjects in magazine articles with refined elegance.

For many young women, the topics and divergent views from the previous generation was empowering. The raised eyebrows and curiosity kept people reading and helped shaped the discourse of what it meant to be a woman.  Cosmopolitan stood out on the shelves.

The vast majority of magazines geared to women tackled the difficult issues of housekeeping, recipes, and how to become a Donna Reed clone. In essence, they boxed women into an inescapable, but acceptable container of societal comfort.  Cosmopolitan magazine made the other publications geared toward women seem antiquated. Great care was taken to print articles that were relevant to the realities of single women.

Johanna  Lasic - Miss Argentina
Cosmopolitan gave women a window to "something else" - Something besides the marriage track, kids, and dutiful homemaker.  The glossy ads of flawless (air brushed) models in Park Avenue hair, make-up, and evening wear created a vision of "more and better" that translated well into designer sales.

Beauty salons were not only inspired to do things differently, but services that involved pampering, rejuvenation, hair removal, and many others, emerged and thrived. In short, and entire industry profited from women giving themselves permission to embark in professional careers and be as sexy as they wanted to be at the same time.

She tackled sexuality outside of the confine of marriage and created an uproar when she published  Sex and The Single Girl: Before There Was Sex in the City, There Was (Cult Classics) Ms. Brown.

Helen Hurley Brown is largely responsible for women believing that "having it all" meant having it all at the same time. As we have found out with passing generations, having it all at the same time is not a one-size-fits-all, nor do we get to enjoy all of it. However, she made it possible for women to think and act outside of societal constrains. This made a huge difference to a generation of women that did not think twice about persuing their passions in science, music, research, and yes, CEO's of companies. - Having It All: Love, Success, Sex, Money Even If You're Starting With Nothing


Helen Gurley Brown quotes on women's sexuality:

"Good Girls go to Heaven, bad girls go everywhere."

"Cosmo is feminist in that we believe women are just as smart and capable as men and can achieve anything they want. But it also acknowledges that while work is important, men are, too. The Cosmo girl absolutely loves men!"

"One of the paramount reasons for staying attractive is so you can have somebody to go to bed with."

"... If you did not have a husband you might as well go to the Grand Canyon and throw yourself in..."

"...If you were having sex with a man and you were not married? Well, your reputation was just shot."

On her thoughts about work: 

"I care, I care a lot. I think of Cosmopolitan all day and I run scared. So it is a combination of frights, caring and anxiety."

"My success was not based so much on any great intelligence but on great common sense."

"Beauty can't amuse you, but brain work - reading, writing, thinking - can."
"I was mousy on the outside but inside I am this tiger and I have to get on with it."

Rest in PEACE and thank you for empowering a generation of women.

Legendary Editor Helen G. Hurley Brown Dies

Image Credit: Silhouette  Johanna Lasic: By Creator:Johanna Lasic (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How to get State I.D. in time for Voting.

Clinton Lester Booker (Deceased)
A Friend (@Olithechef) had her purse stolen and has been busy going about the business of reclaiming her identity. She found something interesting in the process of reclaiming her Social Security card and State I.D. - This may be valuable for those who need a State I.D. to vote in the most restricted voting states like Ohio.

This is specially helpful for those who are young and have a social security number, but no physical card.  Many parents have held on to their kid's original social security cards and waited for the right time for the kids to have them only to find out that they were misplaced or forgotten.

Below is her recount:

The only think that the SS Department will accept if you don't have ID; they'll accept insurance information or a paper from the doctors saying you were there. You information must be on the paper, including your Social Security number. (They don't care about birth certificate, bills, tax infor. NOTHING except insurance or doctor.)
I asked him "What if you don't have insurance or have not been to a doctor for a while (ME - I am healthy as a horse) and he said; "Go to the free clinic, get an appointment for a general check up (which is free) and tell them  you don't have ID."
So I did it. I walked in, gave them my information, got a check up and asked them to copy my information on the page.  I went back to the Social Security office with ALL my papers, and the only thing he took was my paper from the clinic, punched it in, handed me a piced of paper back and said; "Your SS card will be there in 5 days."
At that time I'll take my Social Security card, two proof of address (Bills, letters) to the DMV and get my license or State ID. The license is the only thing that costs me. It is that simple."
Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Image Credit: By United States Social Security Administration (United States Social Security Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Fear Factor: Louis Farrakhan is on the CIA payroll and Blacks will riot

Racism in America
Today's article is longer than what the experts claim Americans can handle.

I hope they are wrong.

It has been a while since we wrote about the ugliness of racism and how it is perpetuated by those who need it to further their political agenda. We all know that divided people create easy pickings and the victor get the spoils.

In an article published back in August 20, 2011, we touched on different types of racists and how their primal fears are used against them to provoke chaos in society.

Below is an excerpt to set the tone on what the right wing nuts are predicting will happen in this upcoming presidential election:

The Arrogant buy AK-47s, military fatigues and survival rations.  They know, they just know, that someone is coming for their women, their land and their food.  They must be prepared for these upcoming events.  The billion dollar industry that feeds on their paranoia continues to laugh all the way to the bank.

The Arrogant crowd are tired of being on edge and can't wait to instigate a horrific confrontation in which they will feel vindicated.  They taunt by bringing their weapons to public places and use intimidation techniques to provoke "others" - specially if they are white, but liberal, or elitist democrats who betrayed their race by supporting an "Other" into the White House.... (you can read the rest here.)

The new conspiracy theory is viewed by the media as laughable and ridiculous. It has been dismissed as the ranting of lunatics that have invested heavily in tin foil hats while spending all their disposable income in stockpiling ammunition and military-style food rations.

Let's take a look at this conspiracy theory from a different perspective: Code for doing exactly what they hope one of these lunatics will do.

Watt's Riots - August 12, 1965
The Plan: instill fear and trigger a reaction that will result in riots. Racially motivated riots will give the lunatics the presumed justification for going on a murdering rampage of "Others"

In the article describing the hoped for events, the seeds of suspicion are clearly planted; The Trayvon Martin murder is cited as a key point in the conspiracy theory. The shooting that took place at the White House is another. 

So far we have fear of black people, recognizable names, and actual (unrelated) events.  Let the conspiracy continue.

Other important elements: A deep-throat-like source at the Department of Homeland Security - whose “super-secret code name.” is Rosebud. (I kid you not, this is what the author said) The author claims that the super-secret name's origin is only known to three people and one of them is no longer part of the scene. The suspense is killing us.

Or maybe not.

We could just infer that the author of this fantasy lacks imagination and ripped off the name from the movie "Citizen Kane" - A biography about Randolph Hearst.  

Spoiler Alert: Rosebud was the name of Randolph Hearst sled. 

Can we assume that this character was invented by the author to create a bit of separation from his lunacy? or that there is someone claiming to be an employee of the Dept. of Homeland Security that has A) an ax to grind, or B) Homeland Security is not in the habit of vetting their employees? 

Either way, the conspiracy theory gains a sense of mystery and danger that is essential to keep the hopeful reading. 

Sarah Palin's Crosshairs map
Now we get to the really "good part," where this man, or men, draw a map for everyone whose tin foil hat has a tiny hole through which they can 'hear' the voices of impending doom and action.

This is akin to putting cross hairs on a map and not expecting an emotionally disturbed individual to take it upon himself to find a direction for his hatred.

The right wing consistently denies provoking the atmosphere in which these types of event can, and do, happen. In this case, they will deny any events arising from using the following rhetoric and making it go viral (which is a point of pride made on the article):
Watch for a false flag event against Obama or his family, something that will outrage ‘black America.’ It will be carefully choreographed, but executed in a manner that will evoke the ugliest of reactions and create racial chaos in this country that will make the Watts riots, 1968 and the Rodney King riots pale in comparison. That’s the third leg in this.” .... "....stating that “a civil war” is the more appropriate term." ..."...They are revolutionaries, and revolutionaries thrive on chaos,” "...Economic chaos, chaos through racial division, and chaos through class division, ..."  "... Farrakhan (Working for the CIA)  is to coordinate the Blacks and the Muslims to prepare for riots this summer, using any means necessary.”
Additional red meat found in the conspiracy theory article; "...  It is common knowledge that Obama is not an American,..."

See what they did there? instructions and justification for anyone that answers the short electrical brain waves penetrating the tin foil.  It should be obvious that they expect one of their unstable followers to reach into their stash of stale bullets, and go Rambo against our President and anyone on the street that looks like him.

Needless to say that "this summer" is almost over and the riots have not happened, but hey! we can't have reality intrude in conspiracy theories can we? - The worst part is that the hatred before the election is reaching critical mass in social media and we have reason to fear these lunatics.

People targeted in this bizarre article include:

Valerie Jarrett, Louis Farrakhan, Bernanke, Gheitner, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Henry Kissinger, Jon Corzine.

President Bush and Alberto Gonzales at the Ranch
August 26, 2007
In order to give the theory additional red meat, the following false statements are made against our president:
Look at his lavish vacations, his limited work schedule, and those with whom he is working.  This is a very dangerous man who has, as his closest advisors, people who have orchestrated the revolutions of the 1960s
Not enough red meat? A black man with limited work schedule (code for lazy. No reference to W. Bush spending the majority of his presidency MIA. The same thing he did when 'serving' in the National Guard) 

Take a look how they represent Timothy Geithner: 
"Do you actually think that the fact that Timothy Geithner’s father worked with Obama’s mother in Indonesia was coincidental,” .... "...including George Soros, Henry Kissinger,"
The plot and conspiracy thickens through invocations of European economic crisis and the hopeful implosion of the American economy. Chaos, chaos is invoked a lot. They love their chaos. The more confusion the better.

The real Homeland Security
Doug Hagmann is the author of this bizarre conspiracy theory. His reports are almost identical to anything created by the feverish imagination of Breitbart, and O'Keefe. Unfortunately, he has a following in Canada and the USA through the Northeast Intelligence Network and he is the director at **homeland security us dot com. Sound legitimate right?

I loathe putting a link to the full article here, so I'll ask that you Google "The planned re-election of Obama revolutionary style" , or Doug's name, or Canada Free Press. You will find this is just one of the many incendiary articles that are fodder for the nut jobs on the fringe of society.

What we need to be concerned about is that the whackadoodles are fondling their AK-47's awaiting for their moment of glory and orchestrated chaos.

As decent human beings, we may want to keep handy the following information and report any "free speech" about assassinating our president, and, or his family. Social media anonymity is easy to unravel by the real professionals.

United States Secret Service
Homeland Security
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Central Intelligence Agency

Articles on Racism:

Racism as Entertainment
Professor Cornell West and President Obama
Terrified Angry White Men

** The right wing organizations ALWAYS use names that will automatically link their corporations, organizations, and projects to the Federal government. It is a marketing technique that does not invite scrutiny of the organizations, newspapers, or the qualifications of the individuals involved.

Images credit: 
KKKKu Klux Klansmen and women at a cross lighting in on November 12th, 2005.GNU Free Documentation License.
Watt's RiotsBy New York World-Telegram (LOC) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Citizen Kane: By RKO (Citizen Kane, trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Bush at the Ranch: Public Domain

Saturday, July 28, 2012

England Olympics: A Time of Reflection and Acceptance

The Olympic torch was lit last night and the cheers from the crowd are the same at every Olympic venue; Hopeful, joyful, and exciting.

It means something to know that that flame burns brightly for us, regardless of country of origin or ethnic background. Regardless of ideology, political views or gender.

For some, their own aspirations to an Olympic medal or simply participating in a future event, fuels their determination to continue training and making the necessary healthy choices that one day, will get them there.

For others, the notion of a united and peaceful world becomes more tangible when they see that all nations are competing in the same games and do so with grace and civility.

There are those who are competitive and can't help but to compare previous venues and criticize the current planning, opening ceremonies, or complain about international judges.

It is worthy to note that these people have never had anything positive to say about present or past venues unless the games were held in US soil.  The commentary on forums from previous Olympic games are horribly charged with ethnocentric, and often, racist vitriol.

One of the worst I had ever seen where the running commentary on a few forums during the Winter Olympics in Canada.

The Americans participants bashed everything about the opening ceremonies while the Canadian participants responded politely or not at all. Several Americans with an obviously more expanded world-view, responded in the same manner as the Canadians, while others felt it was more productive to retaliate against the embarrassment of their own countrymen by going straight for the jugular.

It got ugly.

It quickly became political. The shame of having these people show their ignorance and hatred in public was a National embarrassment. More than most could bear.

There were apologies on forums to the Canadians with disclaimers that all Americans do not fit that profile. Fortunately for us, Canadians are well aware of that.

Unfortunately for us, a great number of Americans are not.

Now the Olympics are in Britain and many wonder if the British, due to their distance from our shores, are aware that all Americans are not as clueless, arrogant and offensive as Mitt Romney. Specially in light of British newspapers and commentary comparing Romney unfavorably to another American production and disaster: Sarah Palin.

The short answer is yes. They are fully aware that we are not all the same or are as uncouth and insecure as Mitt Romney.

Fortunately, they know we have a much better and positive side because their educational system  teaches them about the world, not just their own history.

Ours? not so much. Our kids' lessons are all about American Revolution, American history, American supremacy... How can we expect the adults in the aforementioned forums to be civilized and understanding of other cultures when what little they have learned, has been slanted in such a manner that superiority is no longer a complex to be ashamed of, but to brag about viciously?

This has obviously been going on for a very long time, here is an excerpt from Mitt Romney's book and he is no Spring chicken:
England [sic] is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions. Yet only two lifetimes ago, Britain ruled the largest and wealthiest empire in the history of humankind. Britain controlled a quarter of the earth's land and a quarter of the earth's population.
Bob Costas
Our media reinforces these insecurities by providing us with coverage from the same people we have come to associate with Olympic coverage.  Every two years, there is an Olympic event, and every two years, the American public is bombarded with stories about our own well-heeled, pampered athletes.

We rarely hear about the likes of a Jamaican bobsled team unless it is to make a joke or dismiss them outright as not medal worthy.

Not everyone is blood thirsty. Many know a medal is not within their grasp but they want to participate in a peaceful world event because they too, want to represent their country in its best light.

What is it about this notion that is not sexy enough for the media? Why is this not more than enough for us to cheer each participant's struggles and achievements regardless of country or ethnic background?

Time to reflect and think.

Jamaican Bobsled Team - 1988
What did it take to be a group of people from a tropical island to be competitors in a winter event? How hard was this for them without the financial support of mega-corporations willing to brand every piece of equipment,  and dish out lucrative contracts on the athletes afterward?

It took a lot. It took passion and determination for the Jamaican Bobsled team to get to the Olympics. Their goal was simple: They wanted to participate and join the rest of the world.

Nothing to laugh about. Certainly something to admire.

A movie called "Cool Runnings" brought these people into our collective frame of reference, but how many of these teams and individuals have we missed? How many great human stories have we been denied learning because they were not Americans? - Our loss.

Our national hero seems to be Michael Phelps this time around again. He is a phenomenal athlete and surely he will win some medals. He will be hailed as a god if he gets them all in gold, but degrading commentary from our own media will soon follow if they are silver, bronze... or heaven's forbid, none at all.

Michael Phelps
The media will make comments about enhancement drugs and will vilify the athlete's country of origin of whoever, rightfully, earned the medal.  They will also say Michael Phelps was too old or jaded. Someone will bring up again the photos of him and a marijuana bong.

The beat goes on.

These events are multi-billion dollar events and not everyone is competing on a leveled field. I hope we take the time, and have the opportunity to get to know the athletes from American Samoa, Andorra, Senegal and those other places most of America can't find on a map.

It is truly worth it for our own edification and personal growth.

In the meantime, I predict, we will have to be embarrassed by our own media coverage and feel compelled to apologize to the world for comments on blogs degrading Britain and its people. So without wasting anymore time, here is a preemptive apology:

To all our international readers and citizens: I apologize for those Americans that offend you. We want you to know, we are not all like them. They are the reason we just can't have nice things or travel outside our own country.

Best wishes to all participants in the Olympics. This is your moment, your time, and our pleasure.

Thank you for keeping HOPE alive.

PEACE to all

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mitt Romney Needs a V.P.

Bush Sr. Endorses Mitt Romney
The flurry of commentary regarding the Vice-Presidential options for the Mitt Romney camp are a lovely distraction from the fact that we have only seen hundreds of pages of  tax returns instead of the massive quantities released to the McCain camp. The then hopeful V.P. candidate did not hesitate to release many years of tax returns.

No one can blame the Romney camp from attempting to run away from negative issues. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney, throughout his bid to become the nominee of the republican party touted his business experience and solidified the name Bain Capital into our collective psyche. It is hard to run away from what he claimed to be his crowning glory and meritorious track record.

The only other major advantage to Willard "Mitt" Romney's illustrious career is his record as the governor of Massachusetts, which he campaigned fiercely on until his work there was scrutinized. He was also proud of his achievement as governor of Massachusetts on the health care issue. A model for the nation and the basis for the unfairly maligned "Obama Care."

It stands to reason that the only two things left to distract the public from further scrutiny on Mr. Romney's record as governor, health care, and Bain Capital is the Utah Olympics and the selection of a running mate for the upcoming presidential election.

No one cares about the Utah Olympics. Sorry to say, but past Olympics retain little of their luster as the years, and new Olympic events take place. Also, The Olympic narrative continues to tie Mitt Romney to his tenure at Bain Capital because he was still receiving a salary from Bain Capital.

The salary portion brings up the inevitable tax avoidance, Cayman islands, offspring's trust funds, Switzerland bank accounts, and the Bermuda triangle of financial records involving a blind trust and whatever else has not been discovered yet.

In essence, this is not a good topic of conversation that will advance Mitt Romney's presidential bid.

That leaves us with the vice-presidential nominee.

Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush
Condoleezza Rice is still being floated around as a potential candidate despite Sarah Palin decrying her "moderate conservative" leanings. Despite the evangelicals screaming foul, and in spite of  Ms. Rice stating she was not interested.

Ms. Rice has been touted as one of the most likable and intelligent people in the GOP by democratic-leaning media pundits. We can picture them salivating as they dream of this unlikely nomination.

We will reserve our commentary on Ms. Rice's statements and track record during her tenure in George W. Bush's administration and focus squarely on the fact that the GOP has tried, for the past three and a half years, to disassociate itself from the George W. Bush administration.

Having Ms. Rice up front and center will only bring further scrutiny to an administration most people wish had not happened; the events of 9/11 and how it could have been avoided instead of  botched, Osama Bin Ladin, Rudy Giuliani, disturbing photos of Abu Ghraib and a host of other issues that no one in their right mind in the GOP wants to resurrect.

Of course there is always the resurfacing of conspiracy theories that run the gamut; from our own government orchestrating the attacks so Halliburton could profit from the oil fields in Iraq to the weapons manufacturers milking tax payers for actual weapons of mass destruction.

There is also the theory of knowing, and letting, 9/11 happen so a war could be justified. There are tons of links to these accusations but won't find them here. Readers are smart enough to find them throughout the web, or even watch video on You Tube.

Mitt Romney with Jeb Bush - 2012
Jeb Bush is also being floated around as the other half of the ticket that would save Mitt Romney's bid for the White House.

It is claimed that the former Florida governor brings respectability, a proven track record, and strength of character.

There are quite a few holes that need to be plugged in the above paragraph, but before we do that, we need to understand the following:

A) The GOP tapped Jeb Bush to run in 2000, not his brother. He declined. He was happy in Florida.

It is rumored that Jeb Bush's presidential aspirations are for 2016, not 2012. B) The fact that Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney in March, as did his brother, George W., and their father should be more than enough of the "Bush connection" for the public.

Our ability to tolerate the Bush dynasty has diminished greatly over the past few years.

The anti-Bush sentiment grew exponentially after Mitt Romney went to Wyoming to benefit from a fund raiser courtesy of former vice-president, Dick Cheney. Reporters stated that before they were kicked out of the rooms, Mitt Romney was overheard invoking the Bush name.

This may be the main reason why Jeb Bush's name keeps popping up in the media as a likely candidate for the position. However, we must go back to the sentence that needs to be scrutinized:

If Jeb Bush brings, according to the punditry, "respectability, a proven track record as governor of the State of Florida, and strength of character" -  good questions to ponder must be: "Shouldn't the presidential candidate bring those qualities to the table himself?" secondly, "Can the State of Florida and the Supreme Court stand more scrutiny regarding George W. Bush's election fiasco?" and finally, "has anyone looked closely to Jeb Bush and his associations with shady Florida developers and their connections to organized crime?" - We have, and if Jeb Bush ends on the ticket, our readers should too.

So who? who would be the best Vice-Presidential candidate for Mitt Romney?

Palin and Paul
Mitt Romney should align himself with those who dislike him the most. He must force them to vote for him because they will follow the VP and its derangement to the ends of the Earth.

No, not Sarah Palin, like burnt toast, she's done.

We are talking about Ron Paul.

Whoever Romney chooses must bring enthusiasm and votes because Mitt Romney can't manage either one on his own.

What are your thoughts?

ABC News: Jeb Bush Endorses Romney
CBS News: Cheney has high praise for Romney at fundraiser
Los Angeles Times: Former President George H.W. Bush Endorses Mitt Romney Photo credit as well Jeb Bush Endorses Mitt Romney (via email) Photo credit

Monday, July 9, 2012

A 99% Response

The Working Poor
To the 1% Lady from a 99% Lady,

Think Progress and other media outlets reported your insightful perceptions about us "low income" people who just "don't get it." You offer as examples the "nail ladies," college students, and babysitters.

It is with a heavy heart as I shake my head that I am forced to reply to the charges you made against us based on our income and lack of education.

Your comments clearly underline that it is you, and those you represent, that are clueless about anything outside of the 1 percent gated bubble. Your commentary clearly displays your lack of education and knowledge about your own country of residence and its people.

The fact that you state that the nail ladies, college students and babysitters don't agree with your perceptions is proof positive that they are well versed in the ins-and-outs of politics and how decisions made at the top affect the vast majority of the population.

They can't agree with your views because they pay the consequences. Capish?

You and your kind seem to be under the impression that you have earned a permanent position as the ruling class by virtue of your inherited trust funds. Thus, you must know what is best.

You don't.

The fact that you have babysitters is not unusual but I beg to make a distinction between what "we," the common folks, call babysitting and what your kind labels so carelessly.

First of all, like in most our communities, my neighbor's teenage daughter was the babysitter for a few other neighbors.  She had taken babysitting classes and was current on her CPR license.  Her babysitting took place on a weekend she did not have homework and only for a few hours, so the parents could go out to dinner to a place that did not involve speaking into a clown's mouth. (I know this reference is lost on you, Google is your friend)

Your babysitting is done by an Au Pair, a young student from another country who works 24/7 at raising the kids you spawned and had no intention on raising yourself. Your kids are trophies to be groomed into their rightful scheming positions of corporate nepotism. See picture at right. ---------->>>>

Your kids grow up to be Mitt Romney and George W. Bush.  It is too bad you don't hang out with other people in your income bracket who do have a clue about the working poor.

- Have someone introduce you to the Kennedy's. Your world of knowledge will expand beyond your wildest dreams. -

Our kids are groomed to be good citizens that have a clue what it takes to earn a dollar and to be generous of their time and income to those less fortunate.

Which brings me to the point of being "less fortunate." What the hell do you think that means? - Do you think anyone below your economic status is "less fortunate" because your frame of reference is in dollars and cents?

To us, the less fortunate live on the streets and suffer mental and health problems. Their houses burn  down and the insurance company your husband manages refuses to make good on the policy.  They suffer a major illness and they are unable to pay for the horrific cost of medical care.  These are the people we think of when we say "less fortunate" and none of it is through fault of their own.

Author: Martin Kihn
Yes, it is yours. Your being clueless about how society works and malfunctions is a huge part of the problem. You actually have the power to effectuate changes that benefit society at large and do not take away anything from your personal life.

The "nail ladies" and all others who make your life easy to live, have names and lives outside of their working hours. They live where the rest of us live and are fully aware of the disparity between your lifestyle and ours. They are more aware and educated that you have given them credit for.

We need to point out the falsehood of your statements. You don't want people to be educated beyond what they are now. It is hard to get "good help" when people know and demand their rights.

We will no longer enable you in your bad behavior. We will make sure we put enough regulations into place to prevent you stealing our natural resources and polluting our country. We even intend to achieve living wages and we know that pisses you off.

Your kind is notoriously cheap when it comes to labor and tips. We, the middle class pay and tip better than you do because we understand what it takes for that waiter to earn his paycheck.

You don't.

Unlike you, we are true Americans. We love our country and see all its faults. We try to fix those and make it better for generations to come.

What have you done for your country lately? (or ever?)

I can't continue to write this letter because I have children to raise, a home to clean, errands to run, and meals to prepare. I know you are puzzled by this but I have no time to explain.

I will leave you with a final thought, we don't envy your wealth - we resent your greed and sense of entitlement.

It is time for you to grow up and live in the real world.

Think Progress